Achieving both agility and efficiency requires a new managerial mindset, new organizational structures, a shift in the nature of work, and the continued adoption of technology automation.
All indicators seem to point to markets, organizations, and the nature of work being transformed on a massive scale within the coming decade. As innovation accelerates, organizations will likely have to optimize for both efficiency and agility. These two often-opposing organizational goals will force us to rethink work and retool workforces. Organizations of the future will need to be agile and team-based, with access to a skills-oriented, fluid, expert workforce. They will also have to embrace automation, which will cause huge disruptions in labour markets.
Market forces demanding change
The number of consumers, their market power, and their expectations are growing rapidly. While the expanding market is being driven by globalization and developing economies, the shift in expectations is being fueled by a transition in the market and workforces from Boomers to Millennials. Growing global markets and increasing competition (and motivations for profit and growth) will require industries and companies to continually reduce costs, improve quality and innovate in order to survive.
Technological advancement enabling change
Leading an agile organization with an efficiency mindset
Business leaders will be challenged to develop increasingly agile and efficient organizations. To do this, they will need to approach management very differently. In fact, all of us that want to survive in the new Digital Era will need to throw out old paradigms and invent new ones.
Our suggestion, to businesses leaders wanting to prosper in these extremely challenging times, is to follow these 6 steps:
- Choose measurable outcomes that will propel your organization forward and the core processes that will produce those successful results.
- Rebuild the organization around teams of experts focused on delivering defined outcomes in a common process.
- Empower your teams to self-manage. Give them their goals, measure their results regularly, and adjust their composition as often as needed.
- Build an agile culture and workforce by celebrating successful completions.
- Continually improve processes and replace redundant tasks by automating them with software or robots that drive efficiencies.
- Only hire, as employees, that portion of your workforce that matches the expertise required on a daily basis. Use freelancers, consultants and fractional experts to augment your core as needed.
Each of these steps will be difficult to embrace holistically. And yet, realistically many of them are probably already being practised on the fringes of your organization. In the long term implementing all the steps will rebuild your organization’s core and augment its organizational agility and efficiency.